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Nobody wants to experience grief; it’s only natural to protect our hearts. Yet, with a shortage of foster families, kids need people who are willing to put their heart on the line as they love fully and pray for families to be restored. It’s a big ask, but with stability and support it’s possible.
Almost five years ago, Amber and Jared began their journey toward fostering while living in Colorado. Close friends and mentors began the process to foster and Amber and Jared followed their lead a year later. As they discussed the challenges they might encounter, they desired to be close to their families. God worked out the details and they moved to Texas, settling within 10 minutes of their support system. Then, Amber and Jared connected withand started working toward verification for fostering.
While preparing their home, Jared and Amber worked to ready their hearts and minds, too. Exploring their own histories and reflecting on their past helped them see fostering as way to live out what they believe and show others the love of Christ. Jared shared, “we’ve learned that hard things can be formative if we allow them to be, helping us grow in the self-giving love of Christ.” They use this phrase to keep the belief central so hard things can shape their lives, grow their faith and enhance their capacity to love. And, they make this choice even before anything happens or becomes hard. As a result, Jared and Amber are able to serve with open hands and experience the ups and downs of fostering in a healthy way.
This winter, Amber and Jared welcomed siblings whose parents had experienced extreme challenges, at no fault of their own. The couple worked through cultural and communication challenges to build a relationship with the children’s parents. They learned to cook different foods and showed respect for religious and cultural beliefs different from their own. In a short time, the children successfully reunified with their parents and because of Jared and Amber’s investment, the relationship has continued and the families have stayed in touch.
When we’re asked, “What Makes a Great Foster Parent?” a willingness to do hard things tops the list. When families understand their purpose in the lives of children, they can flex through the twists and turns that come with fostering and navigate the joy and pain in healthy ways. We’re grateful for Amber and Jared and so many foster and adoptive families like them that choose daily to do hard things so that kids are safe and feel loved.
To learn how you can become family for children who need one,